Twitter bore witness to the heartwarming reunion of AOC and her teacher Mai Jacobs on Wednesday.
As she prepares for her first appearance at the Democratic National Convention next week, US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has a very special rooting for her. The 30-year-old this week received an unexpected boost of confidence from her second-grade teacher with whom she'd lost contact over the years and it was the sweetest thing ever. Twitter bore witness to the heartwarming reunion of AOC and her teacher Mai Jacobs on Wednesday after the lawmaker came across Jacobs' response to a poem she'd tweeted in reference to the news that she would have just 60 seconds to speak at the Democratic National Convention next week.
1) <<A Short And Joyful Rant!>>— Ron *Thug* Hall (@RonHall46) August 13, 2020
Now I Am A Grown-Assed Man,
And I Am Normally Hardened &
Fierce (Especially Now That We
Are ALL Faced w/ The Trump Crime
But This AOC Exchange w/ Her 2nd
Grade Teacher Has Reduced Me To
A Silly Crying Baby!https://t.co/KCnjTzLtm0
"I only have a minute. / Sixty seconds in it. / Forced upon me, I did not choose it, / But I know that I must use it. / Give account if I abuse it. / Suffer, if I lose it. / Only a tiny little minute, / But eternity is in it," AOC tweeted, quoting a poem by civil rights leader Benjamin Mays in response to the limited time slot which many saw as a snub. Jacobs replied to the tweet in typical teacher mode, writing: You've got this. Remember all those poems we recited together in 2nd grade? It was prep for this moment. You've got this.
You've got this.— mjacobs (@mjacobs324) August 12, 2020
Remember all those poems we recited together in 2nd grade?
It was prep for this moment.
You've got this.
Less than 5 minutes later, she was left in tears when she received a response from her former student. Speaking to The Washington Post, Jacobs revealed that she started to sob at her desk when AOC replied: Ms. Jacobs! Is that you?! Yes, I do remember the poems we recited in second grade! You prepared me perfectly for this moment. Thank you for teaching me, encouraging my growth, and believing in me as a child. Jacobs immediately tweeted back, writing: Yes, yes!!! It's me! I'm here. I've been here. (Trying to reach you for the past 2 years...) You are my superhero! I want to give you a hug when hugs are safe again. Always always here for you. xoxoxoxoxo PS: Sometime I can share the page you wrote in my end-of-year teacher book.
Yes, yes!!!— mjacobs (@mjacobs324) August 12, 2020
I've been here. (Trying to reach you for the past 2 years...)
You are my superhero!
I want to give you a hug when hugs are safe again.
Always always here for you.
PS Sometime I can share the page you wrote in my end-of-year teacher book.
Jacobs revealed that she'd tried to instill a love of poetry in all her students and would hand out photocopies every week in the hope that someday they would hear a poem and think, "I remember second grade." The unexpected reunion with AOC came as validation for her efforts and couldn't have come at a better time as the veteran elementary teacher explained that she has been feeling exhausted and "completely unheard" amid the mounting pressure for teachers to return to classrooms during the pandemic. "It’s been such an emotional summer," she said.
The most wonderful moment on Twitter! @AOC has a mini reunion with a former teacher, Mrs. Jacobs. God bless teachers who plant these early seeds (mine was Mrs. Reid, who made my 8-yr-old self feel that I could do wonderful things) pic.twitter.com/bmfmcleeGF— Esther Choo, MD MPH (@choo_ek) August 12, 2020
"It’s recognition," Jacobs said of AOC's response to a self-described "nobody," who has since gained over 4000 new Twitter followers. "It's like, 'Oh, I did have an impact,'" she said. Jacobs, who declined to say where she now teaches, admitted that it took a while for her to recognize the up and coming political figure as her former student. She was on a writing retreat in Ireland when AOC became a national figure by ousting 10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary for her district in New York and only made the connection after friends mentioned that Ocasio-Cortez went to school in the city where she taught, Yorktown, NY.
'You are my superhero': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reunites with her 2nd grade teacher on Twitter https://t.co/xLdipVDezx— Business Insider (@businessinsider) August 13, 2020
Upon checking her annual "class book" — with pages for each student's picture and end-of-year note — Jacobs realized that the "girl with this big, beautiful smile, just like she has now," is in fact Ocasio-Cortez. Jacobs revealed that she'd tried to get in touch with the lawmaker many times before Wednesday but had been unsuccessful in her efforts. "I know she’s so busy," she said. The reconnection she has wanted to make for years came when she was least expecting it. "Twitter is like putting a message in the bottle and throwing in the ocean, and you hope that someone will find it," Jacobs said. "In this case, it landed on a shore somewhere."
I just realized this poem speaks to every day I've spent with students.— mjacobs (@mjacobs324) August 14, 2020
The time always feels precious.
I've never taken the power of teaching for granted.
I've often stood in awe of the opportunity.
But now how to move forward in such uncertain times?